Am I not meant for marriage?

I never dreamed or fantasized about marriage being a little girl - all I wanted to do was become a doctor and have a dog and live with friends. Being 21, I have not had a boyfriend, spoken to a guy online whom I never met but that was it. I’ve been thinking about becoming a nun for a while but my mind is very conflicted.

People always say why are you so quiet. I’m not cool/hot/witty or anything like that. As I mentioned, never had a boyfriend. I have gotten rejected by many guys when I tried for example adding them on Facebook. My health is not good, although I don’t have a diagnosed disease I am often really tired (have gone to the doctors endless times with no results), nausea on and off, bowel pain… I would not make a good wife, because i doubt many men want a wife that’s either tired or has nausea, is boring, unattractive. I’ve tried wearing a lot of makeup, wearing trendier clothes but that gives me even less attention from men.

I wouldn’t be a good mother either. In my freetime I volunteer for a Church and sometimes there are children’s groups there. I like the kids and they like me when we are playing and such, but I cannot make them listen to me at all. Other women can come and say ‘‘no, sit there’’ and they listen but when I do, they don’t care… Not only that but childbirth will be a huge challenge for me because of some troubles I have, so the only option for me would be a C-section.

Anyway, all of the above leads me to think I’m not meant for marriage and that maybe being a nun is for me. I have contacted some monasteries and one is really interested. Being a nun would be great in so many ways. I could focus on God, helping people who are lonely etc.

But I’m so scared. Scared to maybe wake up in 20 years and think that I made a mistake. One part of me thinks I’m meant to be a sister, another thinks that maybe I want a husband. One side of me yearns for the love and care of a man, romance, a man’s attention etc. But because of all the reasons listed above, I don’t think I’m suitable for that. Can someone please offer any advice. I truly do not know what to do.

Some people are called the single life don’t beat yourself up make sure that that’s what God wants and not what you want. I am 29 have not had a girlfriend in about nine years and I want to get married and have children. I have found that unfortunately even women seem to have an interest in me for some reason or another don’t want to be with me even though they admit I would make a good father and they want kids. I guess that’s how life is sometimes

If you believe you being called to a religious vocation, then you need a spiritual director to help you discern your vocation. One does not become a nun by default, just because they do not have a boyfriend or think they have no prospects for marriage. One is called, by God, into the religious life and it is not easy. In addition to a spiritual director, please seek some counseling. Your post is very negative and that attitude is probably what is holding you back from a relationship with a nice guy. Seek the advice from a spiritual director and a good counselor and your life will be improve. :flowers:

I think there are a lot of things happening right now that are pulling at you. You have two competing desires - one for religious life, and another for a husband. You also said you have medical problems. I therefore believe it is premature to say at such a young age that you are not cut out for marriage just because you have been rejected by other guys.

I would second the notion to work this out with a spiritual director - in fact, like with medical advice, get a “second opinion” with other priests as well (from a variety of orders as well as diocesan). If you see a consistent trend, that may give you your answer.

Another similar thread running posted by someone else.

Sometimes our own desires can drown out the still small voice that is God’s will.
I also was not the “life of the party” as a teen…but I married at 28. You should not panic, but live a good and holy life as best you can in whatever field you find yourself in. A happy person, who is confident and pleasant to be around is very attractive to men, and to religious communities. Be patient. God has a plan. Worrying about what it is won’t help it along…and could well hinder it.
God bless.

Also, FYI: all the sub forums end up together on the side bar. No need to post duplicate threads in the separate sub-fora.

We all have a vocation to fulfill.

Some are called to marriage, some to religious life and some to the consecrated single life.

You just have to pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance and direction in knowingGod’s will, and then be willing to trust God completely and go with His will, even if you feel unsure about it.

Might also help to find a Spiritual or Vocations Director to help you in this path.

Like others have said; talk to a good spiritual director and pray. I don’t think you’ve given any reasons why you wouldn’t be called to marriage. I didn’t meet my husband until I was 24, and he was only the third guy I ever dated. As far as children minding what you say…no kids besides my own mind me. I find it difficult to be stern with other people’s children.

And as for waking up in 20 years wondering if you chose the wrong path…at least you are thinking about it now. I never gave a second thought to becoming a nun, and though I love my life, husband, and kids, I sometimes wonder why I never considered the possibility of becoming a nun. It seems like it would be a very rewarding life.

1 Like

Wise words from the classic film:

Maria: I left… I was frightened… I was confused. I felt, I’ve never felt that way before, I couldn’t stay. I knew that here I’d be away from it. I’d be safe… I can’t face him again… Oh, there were times when we would look at each other. Oh, Mother, I could hardly breathe… That’s what’s been torturing me. I was there on God’s errand. To have asked for his love would have been wrong. I couldn’t stay, I just couldn’t. I’m ready at this moment to take my vows. Please help me.

Reverend Mother: Maria, the love of a man and a woman is holy too. You have a great capacity to love. What you must find out is how God wants you to spend your love.

Maria: But I pledged my life to God. I pledged my life to his service.

Reverend Mother: My daughter, if you love this man, it doesn’t mean you love God less. No, you must find out and you must go back.

Maria: Oh, Mother, you can’t ask me to do that. Please let me stay, I beg of you.

Reverend Mother: Maria, these walls were not built to shut out problems. You have to face them. You have to live the life you were born to live.

(from The Sound of Music)

Also, a book I found enjoyable and thoughtful: The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything by James Martin, SJ.

A lot of people confuse calling (vocation) with status. That is, if their status remains Single long enough, they begin to moan, oh maybe I am called to be celibate. They make it sound like called to get gum disease. (P.S. no, spankyouverymuch :rolleyes:)

No, there is a vast difference between calling and status. It seems that this is the question you need to lift up in prayer and discuss with those you trust.

Married at 39,it happens it doesn’t. My husband is a gift but my life would still be relevant with or without him. Learn to love and value yourself,by yourself because few men will do both.

am I the only one who sees the irony of a post by “the Old Maid?” :smiley:

But it is excellent advice. Thanks. :thumbsup:

At the age of 21 you don’t need to be in a hurry to make a big decision yet. Give yourself time to grow. I have met some people who I thought were as ugly as sin who were happily married and raising little armies of perhaps future saints. Who knows? I have also met some lovely looking, talented Sisters who were vain and petty. It takes all kinds and YOU are one of a kind. You are a creation on the road to find your niche in life. Very few of us come with a road map from Triple A. It is most often we have to blaze our own trails through the wilderness and over the mountains of life.
You sound like such a lovely person, one I would be proud and pleased to call you “my friend” if I knew you in person. So I say just wait a bit. I think Triple A will come to you. Peace.

I see it, too.

I’m not endorsing Jung, but he was the one who said “own your own shadow.” Although I think nowadays people would quote Tyrion Lannister advising Jon Snow: admit you are, and it becomes all yours.

In my case, my calling and status match. Not everyone has that, and they don’t know that they don’t have that. I really do hear a lot of people who think vocation=status, and that misunderstanding is what’s making them miserable.

Also, the OP claims she’s in poor health and unattractive. I expect the OP is just as good-looking as the other posters here, both single and married. I’m guessing the health issues are shared by other posters here, both single and married. It might be affecting self-evaluation, but that’s entirely different.

Keep us posted. And blessings!

Apologies for the double post. More thoughts over the weekend.

The world isn’t going to be especially supportive regardless of the vocation you choose. Look at the list: pastor, priest, monk, nun, married, celibate. The world has disparaging names and attitudes for all of them. Probably because they all require steadfastness, discernment, integrity, commitment. These things are harder for the world to manipulative or exploit.

(For the poster who mentioned my username :wink: there are worse, such as “Spinster.”)

Here’s a classic example of the world shaming a character: Mary Bailey from *It’s a Wonderful Life. *Angel Clarence reports gravely, “She became an old maid. She never married.” The alternate Mary becomes a librarian. And by that, they don’t mean that she retains a thoughtful and inquisitive mind. They portray her as someone who hides in a world of stories because she cannot live in reality. She is dowdy (takes no pride in her appearance). She is prone to hysteria. (To be fair, being chased by a rather large deranged man can be intimidating.) She has no sense (runs for shelter into a bar with dozens of leering drunks to escape from just one of them). And for some reason she now needs coke-bottle glasses. Marriage evidently helps your eyesight :confused:. Altogether, they showed Mary as an object of pity and derision, which is why no other decent man married her either. I think viewers miss that part.

I don’t normally watch this TV series, but the above has an opposite: “It’s a Bundyful Life” from Married with Children. Without Al Bundy, his wife marries a yuppie and gives birth to rich, snooty, and capable children. Al is so enraged that they are implying he ruined their lives that he chooses to live.

OP, if you are curious about the cloistered life, look up places that allow visitors to live there for a few weeks, to see if it speaks to you. Be advised though that not all nuns end up in a cloister, but might be sent to teach in schools.

As for marriage, it sounds like you’re lonely. Nothing wrong with loneliness as such. It’s sort of a Lenten feeling. But know that pastors, priests, monks, nuns, married people, and celibate people all feel lonely at some time or another. Try sitting with the feeling for a while and see what you find out. Using either a celibate vocation or a married vocation to duct-tape over it won’t solve the underlying problem.

Again, blessings, and keep us posted.

What the OP lacks is self confidence, which is pretty typical for a person her age.

My son is in the same boat, he is also 21-years-old, has never had a girlfriend, never even had a date with a girl. He considers himself shy, awkward, and unattractive to girls.

I think he will grow out of it, and so will the OP. 21 is very, very, young and far too early to decide one will never be attractive to a person of the opposite sex.

I feel for you, however, religious sister’s/nun’s generally want well rounded women who are in good health. FYI: Most orders also want people to have experienced dating, attended college, working, and paying bills.

I agree. Work on your self esteem. Confident people attract others. Children will listen better to confident people.

I didn’t start dating until I was 33. I met my husband at 46 and got married at 48.

I’m sure you have a lot to offer. Don’t put yourself down. You are a wonderful creation of God, made in His image.

You don’t need perfect health to get married. I certainly have my share of medical problems.

God and your spiritual director will guide you.

Don’t become a nun unless you are very sure that is what you and God both want.

God bless you.


The consecrated life is a positive call.

It is not a fallback position when one fails to get married.

As for marriage, it is better to discern marriage with the position that you have something positive to contribute to the relationship rather than from a position of what you can get from your potential spouse.

In order to do this, you have to believe that you have something positive to contribute in the first place.

There’s a lot to unpack here, OP. First, are you attracted to guys? Do you experience same-sex attraction? You don’t mention it, but just throwing it out there. Not an attack or anything, just wondering.

But really, in the dating world, people often believe what you project. Right now, what you’re putting off is “I’m unattractive, I’m boring, and I have a ton of medical issues.” I’m not saying that you actually ARE those things, but it’s clearly what you believe about yourself. And guys pick up on that.

I think the best thing for you to do would be to build your self confidence, NOT with the aim of attracting guys, but just to feel better about yourself and be more comfortable in your own skin. Get in shape, if you’re not already. I’m not saying you have to become an Olympic athlete, but hit the gym regularly. You’ll feel better, you’ll look better, and you’ll have more confidence.

Do you have a good group of friends? Go out with them. Don’t think “I’m going out to try to meet guys to date.” Just focus on going out and having fun. Talk to people. Say hi. You’ll probably meet a guy when you’re not trying to, and are just focused on being yourself and having fun.

Do you have any hobbies? Do you like hiking, or any particular sport? Are you a movie buff? If you have something you’re into, join a group focused on that.

Basically what I’m saying is work on yourself and put yourself out there. I’m not saying you should start taking exercise classes solely because you want to catch a guy’s eye. I’m saying that if you stay active, physically and socially, you’ll feel better about yourself and more confident. And that in it itself will make you more attractive to guys.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit